Washington — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today filed an opposition brief asking Judge Amy Berman Jackson to deny the Department of Justice’s motion for a stay, which would allow it to continue to withhold the memo former Attorney General William Barr used to justify claiming that the Mueller Report did not support obstruction charges against Donald Trump.
Both Attorney General Barr and the DOJ misrepresented OLC’s memo by declaring the document was intended to assist Attorney General Barr in making a prosecutorial decision whether to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. However, portions of the memo released earlier this week in the case made clear that the memo had not been used to make any sort of legal decisions. Instead, the DOJ used the memo as an opportunity to publicly defend Donald Trump.
President Trump’s obstruction of justice and Attorney General Barr’s role distorting Special Counsel Mueller’s findings about it to the public prevent both Trump and Barr from being held fully accountable for their actions. Releasing the memo in full is a necessary step toward that accountability. The DOJ must produce the document, clean up the department and show that it will not be used for the personal protection of any president.